Obi Egbuna Jnr Simunye
At this historical moment the demographic that Western imperialist popular culture commonly refers to as the millenials is in the midst of an acrimonious debate about white privilege. It appears that regardless of where they find themselves on the ideological spectrum, they have points of connection and separation.
The general mood and sentiment has resulted in a disdain for the policies and attitude of current US President Donald Trump, but also acknowledges the green light that beams like a full moon that so-called African Americans have always provided white liberals, who, philosophically speaking, appear to have an intellectual strangehold on the millenials and the political decisions they are making.
This dynamic was magnified on the HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday June 2, 2017, when the host Bill Maher responded to comment by US Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska asking him to come and work in the fields by stating he was a house nigger. Based on his Irish and Hungarian ancestry, Mr Maher does not meet the biological qualifications to be a target for the racial slur by our former colonisers and enslavers for the purpose of dehumanising the African world. That humiliating experience was synonymous with the subjection to forced free labour and watching our sacred lands being raped and plundered.
Mr Maher attempted to put a band-aid on his reckless blunder by having guests from the so-called African American community, who ordinarily would publicly voice their displeasure with his callous remark, which would be followed by an insincere apology by Mr Maher, meaning everyone could continue with business as usual.
The three individuals selected by Mr Maher to carry out this exercise in futility were the internationally acclaimed rapper/actor/producer Ice Cube, Ms Symone Sanders who was Press Secretary for former US Senator and 2016 Presidential hopeful, Bernie Sanders and the author/minister/professor and social critic, Michael Eric Dyson.
Mr Maher’s selection of guests not only illustrated and highlighted his familiarity with the demographics and sub-cultures that exist within the so-called African American community, but that within his rolodex and iPhone he has the networking capability to cover himself whenever his over the top comedic banter upholds the legacy of white supremacy and imperialist domination that white liberals are supposed to avoid at all costs if they can resist the temptation.
For Mr Maher and his white liberal co-cohorts who hang on his every word, an exoneration from a hip-hop icon who has become a darling of Hollywood, a young sister who was picked by Rolling Stone as one of the 16 young Americans shaping the election, and, lastly, a social critic who has an opinion on about everything under the sun, would serve as the ultimate shield that would not only protect his job but shield him from any backlash from everyday so-called African Americans that consider his white liberal song and dance outdated.
The cross-generational make-up of the panel must also be taken into consideration when examining the context of their responses to Mr Maher’s comment. Ms Sanders is 27, Ice Cube is 47 and Dr Dyson is 58. Ms Sanders dealt with the raping of our sisters who were slaves in the house, Ice Cube dealt with so-called African Americans replacing the word nigger with Nigga, a term of endearment which became an acronym coined by the late hip-hop and pop culture icon Tupac Shakur that stands for “Never ignorant getting goals accomplished”. Dr Dyson’s approach was his usual esoteric and academic assessment of race relations, that in the final analysis makes white liberals as comfortable as they are when sun tanning at the beach or swimming pool on a hot summer day.
Because of the alliance between our millenials and white liberals like Mr Maher, Africans at home and abroad are historically obligated to pose a very crucial question like how far are they willing to go with this? Neither Sister Sanders, Ice Cube or Dr Dyson should function from the understanding that warning white liberals like Mr Maher about their transgressions on national television satisfies the needs and expectations of the everyday so-called African Americans who are subjected to naked terrorism, racism, poverty and the continual cycle of ruthless exploitation.
The objective of raising this question to our children is because we have learned through time the danger of dealing with fundamental issues and dynamics on the surface. Ms Sanders hit the nail on the head when chronicling the horrors that African women were confronted with behind the walls of the slave masters’ mansions. However, she was Press Secretary for a hypocritical white liberal who considers reparations for enslavement divisive and voted in favour of US-EU sanctions on Zimbabwe for reclaiming our land stolen by war criminal Cecil John Rhodes and the British South African Company in 1890.
Is Ms Sanders ready to come to Zimbabwe and speak with women who make up 68 percent of the farmholders since the Third Chimurenga was carried out, and if so is she willing to return to Babylon to challenge white liberals like Mr Sanders and Mr Maher to join grassroots efforts to confront the White House, US Senate and Congress about the Zimbabwe question once and for all?
Ice Cube has gone from making songs like “F#*%k the Police” with N.W.A. And “Burn Hollywood Burn” on Public Enemy’s “Fear of a Black Planet” album, to playing a policeman in films like “21 and 22 Jump Street” and “Ride Along 1 and 2”. Is Ice Cube willing to come to Zimbabwe and do a documentary on the First, Second and Third Chimurenga for the purposes of enlightening so-called African Americans who are culturally and historically deprived in the inner cities of the United States where he was born and raised? Perhaps an opportunity for Ice Cube to sit down with President Mugabe would help him arrive at the conclusion that as he approaches 50, it is time to find comfort in calling himself an African once and for all.
For Dr Dyson, a social critic whose delivery and verbage rivals the description of Superman faster than a speeding bullet, is he willing to encourage Georgetown University to develop a cultural exchange programme with Zimbabwe and the rest of the SADC region? This could include the numerous universities where Dr Dyson goes on a regular basis, meaning somewhere between his ritual of reciting rap lyrics from his favourite hip-hop songs and passages of scripture, perhaps he could champion Zimbabwe’s educational system and the need for the lifting of US-EU sanctions.
A study of Zimbabwe by Ms Sanders, Dr Dyson and Ice Cube would show them a Who’s Who of white liberals who have worked for Zimbabwe’s demise from Jimmy Carter, Hillary Clinton, Tony Blair, Russ Feingold, Joseph Biden and John Kerry, to name a few. The hypocrisy is a continuation of the fraudulent manure by FDR, JFK, RFK, LBJ if we ever got the need to make white liberal alphabet soup.
This means they can recognise that even though he has a huge platform, Mr Maher at the end of the day is small potatoes on the white liberal food chain. We can let him campaign for the legalisation of cannabis, same sex marriage, gambling and prostitution, remain on the board of PETA and advocate for animal rights.
Therefore, he can continue perpetuating his facade as a white liberal do-gooder who will occasionally cross the line, whether it’s calling himself a house nigger or favouring the Zionists over the Palestinians, but if Ms Sanders, Ice Cube and Dr Dyson want to strike a mighty blow against white privilege and US-EU imperialism, let them join the struggle to defend Zimbabwe’s sovereignty which is a fight to the death.